Climate resilience building in informal settlement upgrading processes

By Jorgelina Hardoy, Instituto Internacional de Medio Ambiente y Desarrollo, IIED – América Latinai

More than half the world’s urban population lives in urban centres with less than a million inhabitants; for Africa, it is 63%; for Asia and for Latin America and the Caribbean it is 54%. These cities get far less attention than their demographic, economic and governance importance deserves – and far less attention to developing their climate change policies. One difficulty facing climate change policy and action in cities is that so much of what is needed is not considered part of climate change policies. Another is that when there is attention paid to climate action, both nationally and internationally, it usually concerns larger cities. We know far less about how intermediary cities are responding to climate change, whom they are engaging with, the types of constraints they face, etc.

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Getting more durable deals in extractives: knowledge is a power best shared

By Iain Steel, Research Associate, ODI & Founding Director, Econias

“It’s a high-risk country, there’s no infrastructure, and the resources are low quality.” I have heard these arguments countless times over the years from investors in extractives projects. And in every single negotiation I have advised governments on, across Africa and Asia-Pacific, investors have asked for tax incentives that they claim are necessary for financial viability. But how are governments to judge these claims when investors don’t share the underlying data?

Extractives projects are uncertain and risky. Nobody knows the true geology of the asset before it is developed, the precise amount of investment required, and the operating costs to extract and refine the resources. And the only thing we really know about commodity prices is that they’re volatile and unpredictable. Who would have thought in January 2020 that within four months the price of oil would be negative?

Unbalanced deals are a bad result for all parties

Investors often have better information than governments when negotiating extractives contracts. This is not a criticism of governments, but a function of the work that is usually undertaken by investors. Investors tend to explore for resources and commission studies to determine the technical and financial feasibility of projects. They are also likely to have deeper sectoral expertise and experience than governments, and know the value of their intellectual property.

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Ciudades sostenibles, el nuevo desafío de América Latina: El rol de la innovación y de la cooperación pública-privada

Por Maurizio Bezzeccheri, Director de Enel para Latinoamérica y gerente general de Enel Américas

Según datos de Naciones Unidas, la concentración media de la población mundial en zonas urbanas aumentará del 55% en 2018 hasta casi el 70% en 2050. Sin embargo, en América Latina y el Caribe a día de hoy este porcentaje ya roza el 81% de la población. Las ciudades ocupan solo el 3% de la superficie de la tierra, pero representan entre el 60% y el 80% del consumo de energía y generan el 75% de las emisiones de carbono. De ahí su importancia a la hora de impulsar la descarbonización para así hacer frente a uno de los desafíos más urgentes de nuestros tiempos: el calentamiento global. Sin duda son retos complejos que requieren de un esfuerzo conjunto público y privado y entre niveles de gobierno. Pero al mismo tiempo, nos regalan una valiosa oportunidad de avanzar en la dirección correcta, trabajando para crear ciudades sostenibles, resilientes, seguras e inclusivas.

UNA VENTANA AL FUTURO

Alrededor del mundo, nuevas ciudades están desafiando el concepto establecido de cómo opera una ciudad mediante el uso de redes digitales que entrelazan los sistemas de electricidad, agua, desechos y gas, creando una matriz unificada de operaciones urbanas y un crecimiento explosivo en el intercambio de información.

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¿Por qué deberían aplicar precios al carbono los países en desarrollo cuando las economías más avanzadas no cumplen sus propias metas?

Por Jonas Teusch, economista, y Konstantinos Theodoropoulos, estadístico, Centro de Política y Administración Tributaria de la OCDE

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Gravar el uso de la energía en aras del desarrollo sostenible

¿Por qué los países de baja renta deberíanaplicar políticas de fijación del precio del carbono para reducir sus emisiones? Es notorio que las economías más avanzadas del mundo distan mucho de alcanzar el nivel de precios requerido para cumplir los objetivos del Acuerdo de París. Más del 70% de las emisiones de los países de la OCDE y del G20 no tributan en absoluto y más de la mitad no están sujetas a precio alguno, aun tomando en consideración los regímenes de comercio de derechos de emisión.

Las emisiones de carbono de la mayoría de las economías en desarrollo y emergentes palidecen en comparación con las de los países de la OCDE y del G20. Por ejemplo, las 15 economías en desarrollo y emergentes1 analizadas en un reciente informe de la OCDE titulado Gravar el uso de la energía en aras del desarrollo sostenible  representan, en total, menos del 4% de las emisiones mundiales, mientras que los países de la OCDE y del G20 en su conjunto son responsables de más de las tres cuartas partes de las emisiones mundiales de carbono.

En este contexto, ¿es importante que ninguno de los 15 países analizados en el informe aplique una política expresa de precios del carbono y que el 83% de las emisiones quede exento de todo gravamen?  

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Pourquoi les pays en développement devraient taxer la consommation de carbone alors même que les économies avancées sont très loin du compte ?

Par Jonas Teusch, économiste, et Konstantinos Theodoropoulos, statisticien, Centre de politique et d’administration fiscales de l’OCDE

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Taxer la consommation d’énergie au service du développement durable

Pourquoi les pays à faible revenu devraient-ils mettre en œuvre une politique de tarification du carbone afin de réduire les émissions de carbone, alors que les économies les plus avancées au monde appliquent des tarifs largement insuffisants pour atteindre les objectifs de l’Accord de Paris ? Plus de 70 % des émissions produites par les pays de l’OCDE et du G20 échappent à tout impôt, et plus de la moitié d’entre elles sont tout bonnement gratuites, même en tenant compte des systèmes d’échange de droits d’émission.

Les émissions de carbone de la plupart des économies émergentes et de celles en développement sont faibles par rapport à celles des pays de l’OCDE et du G20. Par exemple, les 15 économies en développement et émergentes1 analysées dans un récent rapport de l’OCDE intitulé Taxer la consommation d’énergie au service du développement durable génèrent moins de 4 % des émissions mondiales de carbone, tandis que les pays de l’OCDE et du G20 sont collectivement responsables de plus des trois quarts de ces émissions.

Dans ce contexte, faut-il se préoccuper du fait qu’aucun des 15 pays examinés n’applique aujourd’hui une tarification explicite du carbone, et que 83 % des émissions de carbone échappent à tout impôt ? 

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The challenges and opportunities of implementing local climate action lessons from Quelimane, Mozambique

By Manuel A. Alculete Lopes de Araújo, PhD, Mayor of Quelimane City, Mozambique

Mozambique, one of the most vulnerable countries in Africa to natural disasters, has had to learn first-hand that the effects of climate change are determining factors in the country’s deteriorating poverty situation. As one of the hot spots for various types of natural disasters, mostly directly related to climate change, such as floods, droughts, and cyclones, the country’s development achieved over the years is periodically undermined. As a result, the country still ranks 180th out of 189 on the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Human Development Index. Mozambique’s coastal cities, which could potentially represent a vital driver for the country’s growth, are also particularly exposed to disasters. Tropical cyclones, for instance, occur regularly in the area. Cyclone Idai and Cyclone Kenneth hit Mozambique in 2019 at just a few weeks interval, causing enormous destruction and the loss of many lives. But in recent years, the port city of Quelimane decided to tackle climate change through local climate action, involving a broad constellation of public and private sector actors, with the goal of triggering long-term systemic transformation and paving the way for other cities.

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Europe and Africa need to see eye to eye on climate change

By Carlos Lopes, Professor at the University of Cape Town and former Executive Secretary of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA)

Analysis, including the IPPC reports, show Africa’s vulnerability to climate change despite only accounting for 2% to 3% of the world’s carbon dioxide emissions from energy and industrial sources. Africa aspires to attain the economic and technological convergence and benefits similar to those enjoyed in the industrialised world. Other regions got to their advanced development stage at a high cost for the planet, contributing to climate change. Africans should do it differently, taking advantage of being latecomers, with the opportunity to leapfrog into green industrial and technological development. But that requires a framework of support and significant financial resources the continent lacks. It is, therefore, not surprising that Africans are becoming assertive about the need for climate justice. It is a way of demonstrating that the current climate change narrative cannot box them into adaptation and mitigation alone.

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Africa has the potential to make renewable energy the engine of its growth

By Ibrahim Mayaki, CEO of African Union Development Agency (AUDA-NEPAD)

For the African continent, the stakes are twofold. While Africa is the region of the globe that contributes the least to greenhouse gas emissions, it is the first to be impacted by climate change. Africa has low adaptive capacity and is highly vulnerable to climate variability and natural disasters such as droughts, floods and rising sea-levels, especially affecting low-lying coastal areas. Africa’s food and agriculture sectors are among the most vulnerable to the negative impacts of climate change, which are also exacerbating the lack of access to safe water, water stress and health risks, especially malaria, in the region.

In 1992, representatives of 172 countries met in Rio to define the basis for sustainable development and adopt a set of 27 principles on future development directions. Almost thirty years later, the state of the planet is still a cause for great concern and despite some progress, the results are not enough. The majority of climate models and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) have concluded that any temperature rise above 2 to 3 degrees celsius will have negative effects on productivity in most parts of the world.

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Africa state of the climate report: an urgent call for climate-related development planning

By Blair Trewin, Lead Author of the World Meteorological Organization’s 2019 State of the Climate report for Africa

Tropical Cyclone Idai approaching the Mozambique coast on 14 March 2019 (Source: NASA)

Africa is highly vulnerable to the influence of the climate. The continent contains many of the world’s least developed countries, who have limited capacity to mitigate against the impacts of extreme events. The continent is also highly dependent on rain-fed agriculture which is at the mercy of fluctuations in rainfall from season to season. Amongst the most vulnerable areas are the semi-arid regions of the Sahel and the Greater Horn of Africa; many of these regions also suffer from unstable security situations, and in the worst cases, drought and conflict can combine to trigger famine, as in Somalia in 2011-12.

Like the rest of the world, Africa is warming. 2019 was likely the third-warmest year on record for the continent, after 2010 and 2016. Over the last 30 years, the continent has been warming at a rate of 0.3 °C to 0.4 °C per decade, a similar rate to the global average for land areas. 2019 was an especially warm year in southern Africa, where parts of South Africa, Namibia and Angola had temperatures more than 2 °C above the 1981-2010 average.

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How can island states reimagine tourism for green recovery?

Riad Meddeb, Senior Principal Advisor for Small Island Developing States, UNDP


This blog is part of a series on tackling COVID-19 in developing countries. Visit the OECD dedicated page to access the OECD’s data, analysis and recommendations on the health, economic, financial and societal impacts of COVID-19 worldwide. This blog is also a part of a thread looking more specifically at the impacts and responses to the COVID-19 crisis in Least Developed Countries (LDCs).

Grenada’s Molinere Bay Underwater Sculpture Park, Molinere Beauséjour Marine. Credit: Grenada Tourism Authority

Small Island Developing States (SIDS) have experienced great success in expanding their tourism industries, particularly over the past 10 years. The industry is an economic lifeline and driver of development for many SIDS. Their rich biodiversity and beautiful ecosystems attracted around 44 million visitors in 2019. However, global travel restrictions imposed as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic have devastated SIDS’ economies. Compared to Gross Domestic Product (GDP), export revenues from tourism represent about 9% of SIDS economies. In countries like St. Lucia and Palau, tourism revenues make up 98 and 88 percent of total exports respectively. It is a vital source of revenue for community livelihoods, disaster recovery, biodiversity and cultural heritage preservation.

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